What goes through your mind when someone asks you to give? When a colleague in the office has lost a loved one, or when your daughter comes home with a need for schoolbooks, or when you find a sale at 50% discount on a great pair of shoes. What went through your mind this Sunday as Pastor Wanje asked you to give to build the sanctuary for the youth and children?
2 Corinthians 8:10-15 describes the giving of the Macedonian Church. They had a project to support the persecuted believers in Jerusalem. The Macedonian church excelled in several ways. They gave amidst severe trials. They gave beyond their ability. They gave without compulsion and without being reminded, it was entirely on their own. They pleaded urgently to be allowed the privilege to give. They exceeded the expectations of Paul and other believers. They were a shining example. But we come back to the question, how does a poor church become an example of giving to the Christian world of Paul’s time? The answer is found in 2 Corinthians 8:5, “They gave themselves first of all to the Lord.” This one line explains not just their generosity but the generosity of all people. People give according to who or what they have given themselves to.
We can give without loving, but we cannot love without giving!
Our giving problem is not about what we have or do not have, it is about who or what we have given our lives to. If you are struggling with giving to God, look at your heart, which is at the center of your value system. Pull out your bank statement or mobile money statement and look at the expenditures for the last three months. How do these reflect what you love? What motivated those expenses?
Lord, the Macedonian church looks like an example that I could never be, help me make that first step of giving myself to you. Let that love for you guide everything else I do, even my giving. Amen